Program Overview

The Civil and Environmental Engineering course examines the properties and strength of materials and includes basic fundamentals of structural engineering. Stress and strain and the behavior of materials under varying conditions will be examined. The course will focus on Studies of the man-made-world, both ancient and modern, and their integration to the earth, include roads, runways, buildings, tunnels and bridges. The geology, tectonics and slope stability are included in these studies.

Lab work will include evaluating materials and design, building and testing a truss bridge.

  • The strength of structures. Properties of materials. Stress & Strain.
  • Build and test a truss bridge.
  • Engineering underground and in deep water. Stress and temperature at depth in the earth.
  • History of an urban watershed and human influence on hydrologic systems. Study the Onondaga lake water shed.
  • Potential field trips include visiting the Center of Excellence (COE) to learn about smart buildings and construction sites to learn about new innovative engineering solutions. Additional field trips the Tully mud boils, and Bare Mt Slide.

The Summer College Engineering program is one of Syracuse University’s premier summer programs for high school students. It combines a college-level introduction to engineering with study in related subjects. Explore the roles of creativity and problem-solving in the profession and learn a variety of tools used in engineering.

The course begins with basic engineering fundamentals and definition of SI units. Homework problems will confirm comprehension. We assign students to work together on team building with reports on specific readings and design problems.

  The program increased my knowledge tremendously. I learned a lot about the fields of engineering and plan to keep pursuing them. I really enjoyed the PowerPoints and the hands-on work!   -Summer College Civil Engineering student, 2018.

Program Objectives

Common lectures include:

  • Fundamental Units of Engineering
  • Intellectual Property
  • Engineering Ethics

Common program components:

  • Selected Readings and presentations by student pairs
  • Teamwork practice

Learn more about Civil and Environmental Engineering:

Program Dates & Details Eligibility Requirements Program Cost Program Requirements Typical Day Faculty Bios

Program Dates & Details

Session Dates

Session I: June 29 – July 12, 2019
Duration: 2-weeks


Credit: Noncredit
Grading System: Pass/Fail

Engineering Track

Three two-week engineering courses are offered for noncredit with topics on:

Choose to attend one, two or all three sessions!

Eligibility Requirements

Students must be a minimum of 15 years of age by the orientation and move-in date. For full Summer College admission requirements, view the Admissions Overview and Eligibility page.

Apply Now!

Program Cost

Program Costs:

  • Residential: $3,360*
  • Commuter: $2,566*

*Please visit our Program Costs page for more detailed information. Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees in March.

Program Requirements

Materials & Supplies

The following textbook will be required for the course:

  • Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet, By Bloomberg, Michael, St Martin’s Press

Student Expectations

This is an academically rigorous, college-level program. Students are expected to complete nightly homework assignments and actively participate in group projects. Students are expected to attend all classes every day, arrive on time, and meet all academic obligations. Free time will vary as each program is unique, as is the subsequent workload.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

When not on field trips, the typical day involves lectures, demos and team building in the morning session and hands-on work in the lab or field in the afternoon. Students will be problem solving in groups, designing and building structures, and working with SU/ESF undergraduate/graduate students in various College of Engineering labs. When not in class, students will have homework, conduct additional assigned research/reading, and be expected to continue work on group projects.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College trips and activities. Check out our Campus Activities page for more information!

Field Trips

Potential field trips include: the Museum of Science and Technology (MOST), Tully Mud Boils, and more! Field trips for 2019 to be announced soon.

End Event

On the final day, we visit the Water Environmental Protection Jefferson St facility, downtown Syracuse, and have lunch at the MOST. Students watch an IMAX film that relates to the health of the planet in the afternoon. Parents and family members are well come to attend with paid admission.

Final Academic Obligation

Students are permitted to leave on Friday, July 12, 2019 upon the completion of their course at 5:00pm.  If students have any questions regarding their final academic obligation, we encourage them to reach out to their instructor. Please refer to the Move-Out page for important information regarding the checkout process.

Faculty Bios

Dr. Peter Plumley – Research Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Peter Plumley is the Chief Program Officer at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology and a Research Associate Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at Syracuse University. He is an Earth Scientist with an extensive background in computers and technology. Dr. Plumley’s research has been in the areas of plate tectonics and application of paleomagnetic techniques to regional tectonics. His most recent and active research is focused on educational issues of secondary students related to motivation and the Science of Learning. Dr. Plumley was responsible for development and implementation of K-12 outreach for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Students impacted by his outreach programs number approximately 2,000 students from middle schools (4th – 8th grade) per year and 2,100 high school students (9th – 12th grade) per year. Dr. Plumley was honored with “2003 College Educator of the Year,” by the Technology Alliance of Central New York and the 2011 Post-Standard Achievement Award for years of working to excite young people in Central New York about learning science and engineering.